Gillibrand unveils bill to offer banking services at post offices

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Senator Kirsten gillibrandSenators Kirsten Gillibrand11 urge House to pass .5T package ahead of infrastructure bill Hochul tells Facebook to ‘clean up the law’ on abortion misinformation after Texas law calls for investigation into treatment by Amazon pregnant employees PLUS (DN.Y.) will propose a bill to establish retail banking services in every U.S. post office, its office said on Wednesday.

Gillibrand will introduce a bill that would require the US Postal Service (USPS) to offer checking and savings accounts, small loans, debit cards, cash withdrawals and money transfer services in each of its approximately 30,000 offices.

The proposal has been popular among liberals for several years, but has recently gained mainstream support from prominent progressive politicians. Supporters of the postal bank say it could give millions of Americans in areas without banks access to essential financial tools.

U.S. post offices offered banking services at the turn of the 20th century, and supporters of restoring the practice say it would help curb predatory lenders and short-term, high-interest “payday” loans.

“For millions of families who have no or limited access to a traditional bank, the simple act of cashing a paycheck or taking out a small loan to fix a car or pay the gas bill can end. by costing thousands of dollars in interest and fees. which are almost impossible to pay, ”said Gillibrand, who is considered a potential 2020 presidential candidate.

“Millions of Americans are being forced into payday loan programs that only exacerbate their money problems, and Congress has the ability to eliminate these predatory practices now by creating a postal bank that would be accessible to everyone, everywhere. “

Gillibrand is one of the many Liberal senators who have supported postal banking. Sense. Elizabeth warrenElizabeth Warren In Washington, the road has hardly been taken Senate set to fight big bank critic Biden’s pick Treasury says more rent aid reaches tenants, preventing evictions MORE (D-Mass.) And Bernie sandersBernie Sanders In Washington, the Road Almost Never Been Taken Don’t Let Partisan Politics Hinder Texas Economic Recovery The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Alibaba – Democrats discuss price ahead of politics amid rush (I-Vt.) Also called for expanding financial services to post offices.

The Liberals rallied around postal banking as a way to serve poorer American neighborhoods with few or no bank branches and which are primarily served by payday lenders and other similar entities.

Democrats have fought against the payday lending industry, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau last year released a rule designed to protect vulnerable customers from the cyclical debt trap resulting from high-interest loans. Republicans are trying to repeal this rule through the Congressional Review Act.

Postal banking supporters also tout the practice as a way to get the USPS out of its serious financial problems.

The USPS has reported losses for every year since 2007, and lost $ 2.7 billion in 2017 alone. President TrumpDonald Trump Graham says he hopes Trump will run again Trump says Stacey Abrams “could be better than current governor” Fight for Kemp Executive privilege poses obstacles for Trump MORE earlier this month announced that it was launch of a working group examine the viability and functioning of the postal service.

“The Postal Service could make billions of dollars a year by establishing basic banking services so low-income people have access not to these payday lenders but to a place where they can be treated with respect,” said Sanders. told Vice News recently.

Bankers and their Republican allies in Congress say lawmakers should focus on helping banks expand services to troubled areas by reducing and modernizing regulations. They also expressed skepticism that the financially distressed USPS could indeed offer safe and reliable banking services.

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